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Harper, Werth happy to see Barry Bonds join Marlins' staff

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Harper, Werth happy to see Barry Bonds join Marlins' staff

In hiring Barry Bonds as their hitting coach earlier this month, the Miami Marlins brought back to the dugout one of the sport's all-time great players, a guy who is known as much for his hitting prowess as he is for allegations of PED use. Now the Nationals will see Bonds quite often each year as members of the NL East division.

Despite Bonds' reputation among many fans of baseball as an alleged cheater, he still remains a popular figure in the sport. And his presence on the Marlins is something several Nats players are looking forward to as competitors and students of the game.

"They're lucky. That's the best hitter I've ever seen in my life," Bryce Harper said.  

"He is somebody that mentally just had it. Every time he got into that box, it was just impressive to see. When I was younger I didn't really know much about it, how he was so good at walks and seeing pitches and stuff like that. But the older i've got, I've been able to see that. It's incredible what he did in this game and to see mentally what he did against pitchers. How he did it, how he walked, if he got one pitch then he hit it a mile. They're very lucky to be able to learn from somebody that. The Marlins are definitely fortunate and good for him to get back in the game."

Jayson Werth actually played against Bonds early in his career when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is happy to see the seven-time MVP back in baseball with a full-time gig.

"It's exciting. He was one of my favorite players growing up before I got to the big leagues and then obviously playing against him was pretty special. I saw some pretty cool things. I've got some pretty cool Barry Bonds stories. Having him back in the game and in the division, it will be fun to see him. He's another guy you like playing against. He's a worthy adversary, as I call it. Obviously his numbers and what he did in the game speak for themselves. I'm a fan of him. I've been a fan of Barry Bonds and always will be," Werth explained.

Werth ended up sharing one of those stories he alluded to:

"I've got two really good ones, so I'll give you one. We go in there for a four-game series in [2004] when we were with the Dodgers and we were in a pennant race where it came down to the second-to-last day of the season. Huge rivalry, obviously. We go in there for four games and our manager, Jim Tracy, he was adamant that we were not going to throw him a strike. So, for the first two games he didn't see a strike. He got intentionally walked and walked. The third day he didn't play. And then the fourth day, it was either his third or fourth at-bat, so he hasn't seen a strike in four days, right? Not one. I think it was a 1-0 count and he took the first strike he saw for a homer into the bay. It was impressive. That was one of the more impressive things I've seen. I don't even know if it was a strike, but he still hit it out. I saw him when I was coming into the league and he was going out, but he was still Barry Bonds when I played against him. He was good."

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE